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Luis Rubiales news LIVE: Spanish FA president’s mother ends hunger strike as new Hermoso video emerges

Luis Rubiales has sent new video to Fifa appearing to show Jenni Hermoso laughing over his infamous kiss, as the Spanish Football Federation president continues to desperately cling to power.

In the video, Hermoso smiles as she shows her teammates a meme about the kiss to her teammates. Rubiales is still hoping to clear his name amid growing pressure to resign his post after Hermoso said the kiss was non-consensual and symptomatic of a broken culture in Spanish football.

Rubiales’ mother has meanwhile ended her hunger strike and been admitted to hospital after locking herself in a church in protest over her son’s treatment and the “witch hunt” against him. A priest called Father Antonio said Angeles Bejar had been taken to hospital after feeling tired and unwell. “We have called the son. He’s in touch with her and they have decided that she needed to go to the hospital,” he said.

Follow all the latest updates from the Luis Rubiales crisis:

Luis Rubiales - latest on Spanish FA chief

  • Luis Rubiales sends Fifa new video of Jenni Hermoso laughing over kiss

  • Uefa boss says Rubiales was ‘inappropriate’ but says Fifa will decide

  • Mother of Rubiales taken to hospital during hunger strike

  • Uncle Juan Rubiales says Luis ‘needs re-education about women’

Summary – Luis Rubiales news

Thursday 31 August 2023 19:39 , Lawrence Ostlere

That’s all for today. Here is the latest news on the Luis Rubiales crisis:

Luis Rubiales' mother feeling 'unwell' and admitted to hospital amid hunger strike (Reuters)

Spanish FA considers reasons to sack World Cup-winning manager Jorge Vilda

Thursday 31 August 2023 17:23 , Lawrence Ostlere

The Spanish Football Federation is considering whether it has grounds to sack Spain Women’s World Cup-winning head coach Jorge Vilda, according to reports.

Vilda is still in the post after most of his coaching staff resigned in protest against federation (Rfef) president Luis Rubiales, who has refused to quit for kissing Spain player Jenni Hermoso after their World Cup final win.

All of Spain’s 23 World Cup winners, plus another 58 players, have said they will not represent their country until Rubiales has left his post.

He was applauded by Vilda after repeatedly insisting that he would not quit at the Rfef’s extraordinary general meeting last Friday and the federation is exploring its options over whether they can sack the head coach.

Spanish FA considers reasons to sack World Cup-winning manager Jorge Vilda

Mother of football chief Luis Rubiales taken to hospital during hunger strike

Thursday 31 August 2023 16:12 , Lawrence Ostlere

The mother of suspended Spanish football president Luis Rubiales has been taken to hospital three days into a hunger strike after locking herself in a church.

Angeles Bejar staged her protest to try to end what she dubbed an “inhumane witch-hunt” against her son after the Spanish Football Federation (Rfef) asked him to resign.

She had started her hunger strike on Monday in Montril, southern Spain, and vowed to continue despite her son’s pleas for her to stop. “I am willing to die for justice because my son is a decent person and it is not fair what they’re doing,” she told a Spanish television station.

On Wednesday, a priest called Father Antonio said Ms Bejar had been taken to hospital after feeling tired and unwell. “We have called the son. He’s in touch with her and they have decided that she needed to go to the hospital,” he said.

The hospital would not confirm whether Ms Bejar was admitted.

Earlier, she told MailOnline: “My son is very worried and has asked me not to continue, to stop, but I will be here until I drop and my body can continue. He is not here. He is away but he has told me to stop but I’ve said I will not. I will carry on.”

Luis Rubiales’ mother taken to hospital during hunger strike prompted by ‘witch hunt’

Who is Jorge Vilda?

Thursday 31 August 2023 16:02 , Lawrence Ostlere

One of the most controversial figures in the Spanish football crisis is Jorge Vilda, the manager of the World Cup-winning women’s team whom many of the players dislike, even despise. Our chief football writer Miguel Delaney recently detailed the other man at the centre of the storm:

Jorge Vilda: Spain’s World Cup coach at the heart of a civil war

Breaking: Spain manager Jorge Vilda set for sack

Thursday 31 August 2023 15:48 , Lawrence Ostlere

New, from Reuters: Spain’s football federation (RFEF) is preparing to sack Jorge Vilda, the coach of its World Cup-winning women’s team, after he refused a request to resign, a federation source said on Thursday.

A new board constituted after the suspension of RFEF President Luis Rubiales by FIFA over an allegedly unsolicited kiss he planted on a player’s lips has agreed to work on terminating coach Vilda’s contract, the source said.

The board is also negotiating with players of the women’s team who have gone on strike over the incident for their return.

Spain head coach Jorge Vilda remains in his post after the resignation of most of his staff (Zac Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire)

Uefa boss says Luis Rubiales was ‘inappropriate’ but says Fifa will decide his future

Thursday 31 August 2023 15:43 , Lawrence Ostlere

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has described the behaviour of Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales as “inappropriate” – but called for Fifa’s investigation to be allowed to run its course.

All of Spain’s 23 World Cup winners, plus another 58 players, have said they will not represent their country until Rubiales has left his post.

Ceferin, head of Europe’s governing body, feels the full disciplinary process must be allowed to be completed without added distraction, but admits change must follow.

“I am a lawyer and one of the vice-presidents of Fifa. His case is in the hands of the disciplinary body of the international federation. Any comments I might make would feel like pressure,” Ceferin told French media outlet L’Equipe in his first public comments since the incident.

“I just have to say that I am sad that such an event overshadows the victory of the Spanish national team. We should change things. I had a meeting today with Laura McAllister (vice-president of Uefa) to find ways to change the way we behave. We must do more.”

Ceferin added: “Of course, what he did was inappropriate. We all know it. I hope he knows that was inappropriate. This is enough for the moment because the disciplinary committee will decide.”

Full story:

Uefa boss: Rubiales was ‘inappropriate’ but says Fifa will decide his future

What happens next?

Thursday 31 August 2023 15:16 , Lawrence Ostlere

Rubiales faces at least three legal and administrative challenges, which carry potential sanctions ranging from sacking and disqualification to prison time. As well as FIFA’s disciplinary committee hearings, the Spanish High Court’s prosecutor plans to contact Hermoso about a possible criminal complaint for sexual aggression, and the state-run National Sports Council (CSD) has asked its Sport Administrative Court (TAD) to look into complaints.

Rubiales, who says he is the victim of a campaign by “false feminists”, and the RFEF, have said they will take their own legal action to prove his innocence.

What has the reaction been?

Thursday 31 August 2023 15:03 , Lawrence Ostlere

Rubiales’ actions on World Cup final day, and later defiance, have brought a torrent of public criticism in Spain and elsewhere, but also a backlash in some circles against feminism. Spain’s socialist government has taken a tough line: Deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz termed the kiss an “attack” while acting Equality Minister Irene Montero told Reuters: “We are sending the correct message to the world, that sexism is over.”

Within the game, numerous figures condemned Rubiales, including high-profile male personalities such as Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez. A group of 81 professionals, including the entire World Cup-winning squad, said they would no longer play for the national side under the current leadership. In support of Rubiales, his mother Angeles Bejar began a hunger strike in a church in their hometown of Motril on Aug. 28 to denounce “the inhumane and bloody hunt” against her son.

Luis Rubiales’ mother, Angeles Bejar, went on hunger strike (AP)

What have the authorities done?

Thursday 31 August 2023 14:52 , Lawrence Ostlere

World governing body FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings against Rubiales and on 26 August provisionally suspended him from all football-related activities for 90 days. He refused to resign. “A consensual peck is enough to get me out of here? I will fight until the end,” Rubiales told the federation, to the applause of many, including Vilda.

Since that meeting, the RFEF’s regional representatives have urged his resignation.

What did Rubiales do?

Thursday 31 August 2023 14:45 , Lawrence Ostlere

When the final whistle blew in Australia on 20 August and Spain had beaten England 1-0, Rubiales grabbed his crotch in celebration while close to Spain’s Queen Letizia and 16-year-old Princess Sofia. When presenting Hermoso with her medal, he held the player on the head and kissed her lips.

Hermoso’s first reaction was to tell team mates “Hey, I didn’t like it”, according to locker room footage. The federation cited her the next day as downplaying the incident, but she denied involvement in that statement and went on to say she did not agree to the kiss and was a victim of sexism. Rubiales first called critics “idiots” then apologised. “Surely I was wrong, I have to admit,” he said in a video. “It was without bad faith at a time of maximum effusiveness.”

FA Spanish president Luis Rubiales kisses footballer Jenni Hermoso (BBC)

Who is Luis Rubiales?

Thursday 31 August 2023 14:39 , Lawrence Ostlere

Rubiales, 46, was a defender with several lower league clubs in Spain and Hamilton Academical in Scotland until 2009. He became president of the Association of Spanish Footballers (AFE) a year later before being elected to lead the RFEF in 2018. He vowed to modernise its structure, increase turnover and improve transparency after a corruption scandal.

Rubiales sacked Spain manager Julen Lopetegui two days before their 2018 World Cup campaign in Russia because the coach had a pre-agreement to join Real Madrid after the tournament. There was further controversy last year when members of the Spanish women’s team mutinied against their coach Jorge Vilda. The RFEF backed Vilda who then cut 12 of the 15 players involved from the squad that went on to win the World Cup.

Luis Rubiales has come under pressure to resign (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)

Luis Rubiales sends Fifa new video of Jenni Hermoso laughing over kiss on team bus

Thursday 31 August 2023 14:23 , Lawrence Ostlere

Luis Rubiales has sent new video to Fifa appearing to show Jenni Hermoso laughing over his infamous kiss, as the Spanish Football Federation president continues to desperately cling to power.

Rubiales was suspended from all football-related activity for 90 days while Fifa investigates the incident, in which he grabbed Spain forward Hermoso and kissed her on the lips during the World Cup final presentation in Sydney. He was also seen handling other players and kissing them on the cheek in the aftermath of the 1-0 victory over England, and footage also showed him grabbing his crotch in an aggressive celebration.

Rubiales has received widespread condemnation from across sport and politics, including the prime minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez, but he has denied wrongdoing, insisting the kiss was consensual and refusing to resign in a dramatic press conference. His mother has gone on hunger strike in protest against the “witch-hunt” and is currently being treated in hospital.

The Spanish FA initially tried to point to still photos indicating Hermoso had lifted Rubiales off the ground in celebration and thus initiated the kiss. Now footage has emerged of the player laughing with teammates on the team bus after the final while holding up a meme on her phone which poked fun at the incident.

Full story:

Luis Rubiales sends Fifa new video of Jenni Hermoso in bid to clear name

Spanish FA considers reasons to sack World Cup-winning manager Jorge Vilda

Thursday 31 August 2023 12:57 , Lawrence Ostlere

The Spanish Football Federation is considering whether it has grounds to sack Spain Women’s World Cup-winning head coach Jorge Vilda, according to reports.

Vilda is still in the post after most of his coaching staff resigned in protest against federation (Rfef) president Luis Rubiales, who has refused to quit for kissing Spain player Jenni Hermoso after their World Cup final win.

All of Spain’s 23 World Cup winners, plus another 58 players, have said they will not represent their country until Rubiales has left his post.

He was applauded by Vilda after repeatedly insisting that he would not quit at the Rfef’s extraordinary general meeting last Friday and the federation is exploring its options over whether they can sack the head coach.

Spanish FA considers reasons to sack World Cup-winning manager Jorge Vilda

Luis Rubiales is just the latest crisis in Spanish FA’s dark history

Thursday 31 August 2023 12:26 , Lawrence Ostlere

As of Wednesday afternoon, Luis Rubiales was completely isolated and yet still officially the head of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (Rfef). It is an absurd situation that symbolises so much about a story that is at once so serious and also utterly farcical, not least when it comes to the organisation itself.

The regional chiefs that form the Rfef’s assembly finally turned on Rubiales by requesting his resignation on Monday, but they don’t actually have the power to force it. The 46-year-old still has to take the decision, which would come just days after he repeatedly announced: “I am not resigning!”. In the meantime, he is suspended from all football-related activities by Fifa, which could take it even further once its investigation concludes.

So much of this story has developed from Rubiales’ distinctive personality, to put it generously. And yet the very fact such a personality is so difficult to remove from the role is a reflection of something much bigger, which has also provoked even more discussions about what Spanish football has been and where it is going.

Read the full piece by Miguel Delaney:

Luis Rubiales is just the latest crisis in Spanish FA’s dark history

Uncle Juan Rubiales accuses Luis of lying to Spanish prime minister

Thursday 31 August 2023 11:34 , Lawrence Ostlere

Juan Rubiales claims Luis lied to the Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez in order to win his politcal affections. “He told him his grandfather was shot dead in the Civil War. That is not true. Luis told Sanchez how Tebas (the La Liga president) is far-right, so he needed a socialist like him.”

Luis Rubiales has not commented on his uncle’s allegations.

Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez has asked for transparency from the Federation (AFP via Getty Images)

Uncle Juan Rubiales says Luis used FA money to attend New York boxing fight

Thursday 31 August 2023 11:32 , Lawrence Ostlere

Juan Rubiales has now gone on radio to back up his earlier interview. He says his nephew Luis used Spanish Football Federation to attend a Canelo Alvarez boxing fight. “He told us ‘If the media calls, say that we have a meeting at the UN’, but there wasn’t a meeting.”

Luis Rubiales has not commented on his uncle’s allegations.

Uncle Juan Rubiales says Luis ‘needs re-education about women’

Thursday 31 August 2023 11:32 , Lawrence Ostlere

He adds, referring to infamous ‘orgy’ parties which Luis Rubiales has denied involvement with: “Luis invited me to the party. There were lot of teenage girls. I said they could be your daughters and he was losing his mind. Girls who are paid money I can’t rule it out [girls being minors]. He said they were from clubs ... I don’t know what happened there and I don’t want to know. I locked myself in my room, I watched football. I could not believe it. When the truth is there and (there are no consequences), you justify it all however you can.”

Luis Rubiales has not commented on his uncle’s allegations.

Luis Rubiales has denied involvement in orgy parties (AP)

Uncle Juan Rubiales claims Luis plotted to embezzle FA money

Thursday 31 August 2023 11:27 , Lawrence Ostlere

Juan Rubiales also accuses Luis of plotting to embezzle money from the Spanish FA. He claims the president said: “We have to find the formula so that my dad can get the money out … of the Spanish FA.”

Rubiales has made no comment in response to the allegations.

Uncle Juan Rubiales says Luis ‘needs re-education about women’

Thursday 31 August 2023 11:24 , Lawrence Ostlere

An extraordinary interview with Juan Rubiales, the uncle of Luis, has seen some of the Spanish FA president’s family members turn on him.

“All of our family stands with Jenni,” Juan Rubiales told El Confidencial. He called his nephew “a cowardly man” who is “obsessed with power, with luxury, and with women. He needs re-education on how to treat women.”

Mother of football chief Luis Rubiales taken to hospital during hunger strike

Thursday 31 August 2023 11:10 , Lawrence Ostlere

The mother of suspended Spanish football president Luis Rubiales has been taken to hospital three days into a hunger strike after locking herself in a church.

Angeles Bejar staged her protest to try to end what she dubbed an “inhumane witch-hunt” against her son after the Spanish Football Federation (Rfef) asked him to resign.

She had started her hunger strike on Monday in Montril, southern Spain, and vowed to continue despite her son’s pleas for her to stop. “I am willing to die for justice because my son is a decent person and it is not fair what they’re doing,” she told a Spanish television station.

On Wednesday, a priest called Father Antonio said Ms Bejar had been taken to hospital after feeling tired and unwell. “We have called the son. He’s in touch with her and they have decided that she needed to go to the hospital,” he said.

The hospital would not confirm whether Ms Bejar was admitted.

Earlier, she told MailOnline: “My son is very worried and has asked me not to continue, to stop, but I will be here until I drop and my body can continue. He is not here. He is away but he has told me to stop but I’ve said I will not. I will carry on.”

Luis Rubiales’ mother taken to hospital during hunger strike prompted by ‘witch hunt’

Uefa boss says Luis Rubiales was ‘inappropriate’ but says Fifa will decide his future

Thursday 31 August 2023 10:54 , Lawrence Ostlere

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has described the behaviour of Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales as “inappropriate” – but called for Fifa’s investigation to be allowed to run its course.

All of Spain’s 23 World Cup winners, plus another 58 players, have said they will not represent their country until Rubiales has left his post.

Ceferin, head of Europe’s governing body, feels the full disciplinary process must be allowed to be completed without added distraction, but admits change must follow.

“I am a lawyer and one of the vice-presidents of Fifa. His case is in the hands of the disciplinary body of the international federation. Any comments I might make would feel like pressure,” Ceferin told French media outlet L’Equipe in his first public comments since the incident.

“I just have to say that I am sad that such an event overshadows the victory of the Spanish national team. We should change things. I had a meeting today with Laura McAllister (vice-president of Uefa) to find ways to change the way we behave. We must do more.”

Ceferin added: “Of course, what he did was inappropriate. We all know it. I hope he knows that was inappropriate. This is enough for the moment because the disciplinary committee will decide.”

Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has broken his silence on the matter (Niall Carson/PA)

Luis Rubiales sends Fifa new video of Jenni Hermoso laughing over kiss on team bus

Thursday 31 August 2023 10:45 , Lawrence Ostlere

The meme compared the Rubiales incident alongside a photo of former Spanish men’s goalkeeper Iker Casillas kissing reporter and then girlfriend Sara Carbonero. In the video, Hermoso can be seen smiling as she shows the image while some of her teammates chant “beso”, meaning kiss, and “presi”, referring to the FA president Rubiales.

A member of Rubiales’ camp told the DailyMail that they believed the video to be “gold dust” in his defence against both Fifa’s investigation into his conduct and any potential criminal charge of sexual assault, which the Spanish police authorities are exploring.

However, Hermoso has insisted the kiss was not consensual and that both herself and her friends and family were “pressured” to speak out in support of Rubiales. She criticised the “manipulative, hostile and controlling culture” of the Spanish national team.

Luis Rubiales sends Fifa new video of Jenni Hermoso in bid to clear name

Luis Rubiales sends Fifa new video of Jenni Hermoso laughing over kiss on team bus

Thursday 31 August 2023 10:38 , Lawrence Ostlere

Luis Rubiales has sent new video to Fifa appearing to show Jenni Hermoso laughing over his infamous kiss, as the Spanish Football Federation president continues to desperately cling to power.

Rubiales was suspended from all football-related activity for 90 days while Fifa investigates the incident, in which he grabbed Spain forward Hermoso and kissed her on the lips during the World Cup final presentation in Sydney. He was also seen handling other players and kissing them on the cheek in the aftermath of the 1-0 victory over England, and footage also showed him grabbing his crotch in an aggressive celebration.

Rubiales has received widespread condemnation from across sport and politics, including the prime minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez, but he has denied wrongdoing, insisting the kiss was consensual and refusing to resign in a dramatic press conference. His mother has gone on hunger strike in protest against the “witch-hunt” and is currently being treated in hospital.

The Spanish FA initially tried to point to still photos indicating Hermoso had lifted Rubiales off the ground in celebration and thus initiated the kiss. Now footage has emerged of the player laughing with teammates on the team bus after the final while holding up a meme on her phone which poked fun at the incident.

Luis Rubiales crisis – latest news

Thursday 31 August 2023 10:31 , Lawrence Ostlere

Follow the latest updates as Luis Rubiales clings to power.